Letters to Holly

Tuesday, June 16

I Ran. Iran. Eyeball Monsters.

Last April, I posted a review of very possibly my first ever comic.

Asheville has a new comic store called Comic Envy, and they have a cheap box at the counter. These are comic overruns or issues that aren't worth the trouble to put in the usual back-issue inventory. They had a nice selection of significant comics in there (Avengers Annual 10, introducing the X-Men's Rogue, for example). But what caught my eye was a comic that may be one of the first five I ever owned, a comic whose cover I haven't seen in three decades. My copy is a tattered pulpy mess, and I held onto for sentimental reasons. But now I have a clean version, and it was about $2. A steal for childhood glee.

OK, backstory: World's Finest teamed Batman and Superman for stories usually lasting one issue. Eventually, the writers got bored and shifted attention to tales of the Sons of Superman and Batman, Superman Junior and Batman Junior. This being the early '70s, the sons were traveling mystery solvers much like every Hanna Barbera cartoon from the time (Captain Caveman, Jabberjaws, Scooby Doo, Dynomutt, etc.). Think of it as The Dynamic Duo of Hazzard. Oh, and they are both named for their dads.

In this issue, the boys take a back road and find a Florida town without men. Women have a sovereign hidden hamlet. Any man unlucky to stumble upon them are jailed. The sons play it cool and go along with the arrest to sniff out the situation.

They learn that two of the town leaders have doubts about their men-hating agenda (especially once they set eyes on those new hunks). They mention their leader, Sister Sibyl, and the boys break out at night to follow the women to see Sibyl. They see the town's women worship at a monolith with one giant eye where they probably sacrifice the captured men, and the two doubters are seemingly absorbed by it.

The jailbreak is discovered, and the hounds have Batman Junior's scent; because Superman Junior is half-Kryptonian, he has no scent, we're told. Bruce and Clark switch costumes in a weird logic that the dogs will chase the Batman costume worn by Clark instead of chasing Bruce (the source of the scent) now in Clark's costume. It's an excuse to see Batman fly around. The boys elude the policewomen and fight two half-gator monsters who sound just like the doubting women. The monsters fall into quicksand, and we suppose they die.

The sons investigate the monolith and are attacked by the cover monster who identifies herself as Sibyl, an alien cast out from her world and cursed with ugliness. Embittered, she creates a town of women to worship her. She's somehow weakened by man magic or something. Superman Junior traps her inside the monolith.

BUT WAIT! It's actually her spaceship, and the craft flies back to her homeworld automatically. There she's tried for her villainy and sentenced to a jail of mirrors to stare at herself for eternity. The sons meanwhile use their man magic to erase the Sibyl spell over the women, and the comic ends with Bruce Junior surrounded by love-hungry swamp women, including the previously alligator'ed gals we thought died in quicksand.

If I showed this to Your Sister, she'd explode in an eye-rolling paroxysm of feminist indignation. So of course I want to do it.

Story Grade: D
Nostalgia Grade: A++
Campiness Grade: Eleventy Bazillion A's

+ + +

I ran this morning, and beat yesterday's time by 18 seconds, just by pumping my arms faster. Eighteen seconds. I'm already in the Jefferson administration. I may run 3 miles tomorrow morning for variety. Maybe stick with my 2-mile regimen for this week. I need to establish this new habit, I think, I before I make adjustments.

It's possible that Your Sister will be through with school today. If she can add her grades to the state server and pack up the room, she's done. She's vibrating with hope.

In the News
So. Iran.

The newest newsy news says a ballot recount has been ordered by the high supreme religious cabal, but this isn't the do-over demanded by the reform movement. It's unlikely a recount will unseat the president. No one knows if the protests will burn themselves out or grow larger. These are two images I nabbed from The Big Picture, a fantastic hi-res news image site.

The supporters of top opposition candidate Mirhossein Mousavi flood the streets.

A protester helps a police officer to medical treatment after fellow protesters cornered and walloped him.

A supporter of the current administration gives a student protester what for. Check out her Chuck Taylors.

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